There Is No Other Con Like ClexaCon
As the ClexaCon 2019 tickets sale is just around the corner, let’s take a look back at ClexaCon 2018, which took place this past April in Las Vegas.
After the success of the first edition in 2017, this year’s convention brought twice the number of attendees to Las Vegas. Around 4000 “Clexagoners” travelled from around the world to meet each other at the Tropicana Convention Center. The number of guests was equally impressive for a second edition. ClexaCon 2018 snagged big names like Glee’s Dot Marie Jones, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow’s Caity Lotz, One Day At A Time’s Isabella Gomez and the popular Supergirl’s Chyler Leigh. With ClexaCon’s reach growing, Brooklyn 99’s actress Stephanie Beatriz was added as a last-minute guest. It turns out she had heard about ClexaCon from a friend and asked to join several panels – including “Bisexual Representation in the Media” and “Queer Women of Color in the Media”.
Of course, a bigger crowd means a huge amount of work ahead of the convention to do the planning and prepare the rooms. Considering that it was only their second edition, I have to congratulate the organizers, staff members and volunteers that did an amazing job the whole weekend. The exhibit hall and the main panel room were also much larger than last year, making it possible for everyone to attend the more popular panels like “Alex Danvers: Behind the Badge”, Wynonna Earp or Lost Girl. Besides the Wayhaught panel, every attendee that waited in line for a panel was able to get in. If you were waiting for the next panel and therefore could not be in the room, a live feed of the panel was displayed on a big screen near the lines. In case you had to miss a main panel, ClexaCon filmed them all and uploaded them on their Youtube channel within three hours. That’s quite a feat in my opinion. I strongly urge you to watch the “LGBTQ Actresses” as well as the “Queer Women of Color” panel which, despite a low attendance due to programming schedule, was one of the most interesting of the weekend. To put things in perspective, I had both a VIP and a Press badge, so the lines were not too bad for me. I have heard a lot of complaints online about the length of the lines and the hours waiting; however, I feel like these complaints mainly came from people who have never been to a convention before. Prioritization and compromises are necessary. Often, you have to miss a panel in order to line up for an autograph of your favorite actor.
Just like any other convention, you might not be interested in all the guests and panels, but ClexaCon 2018 made sure to keep you busy all weekend and entertained at all times. Besides the wide diversity of vendors, the exhibit hall also hosted a gaming space and a quiet space to relax in between panels, autograph sessions and photo-ops that are filled with emotions. ClexaCon 2018 also offered many opportunities to meet your favorite actresses in addition to the photo-ops and autographs. Meet & Greets and Breakfast with Guests were organized for several guests, but the main event of the weekend was Cocktails for Change to benefit Cyndi Laupers’s charity “True Colors”. Cocktails for Change was preceded by a Red Carpet event where press could take pictures and interview some of the guests (watch our interviews here). The event was also followed by the Ascension Party, where a few guests made an appearance: Isabella Gomez, Briana Venskus, Stephanie Beatriz, Mandahla Rose, Nicole Pacent…
Diversity was not only the focus for the activities but also for the guests, vendors, panels… The exhibit hall offered a variety of vendors with incredible content you cannot find at other cons. I chatted with artist Foley about her work, Butch!Kara Danvers and her feelings about ClexaCon.
The diversity of the panels was an important focus this year, with panels like “Queer Women of Color Representation in the Media”, “Bisexual Representation in the Media”, “Queer and Plus Size Cosplay”, “Disabled Queer Representation”, “Latinx Represenation”, “Shethority” (a group created by The CW actresses to offer a positive place for women to inspire, empower and share)… Personally, my favorite panels were “LGBTQ Actresses” and One Day At A Time. The first delved into several issues that these actresses were facing: mental health, stereotypes (i. e. Haviland Stillwell being “too girly” to ever be casted as a lesbian, a sentiment that was echoed during the Shethority panel by Caity Lotz about Maisie Richardson-Sellers). The emotion during the One Day At A Time panel started with the introduction video; there was not one dry eye in the room, including on stage. It was great to see the impact that the show had not only on the LGBTQ+ community but also for the Latinx community. It shows the impact TV shows can have and how much representation matters.
For its second edition, ClexaCon did a more than an impressive job with respect to guests and organisation. But of course, growing pains are to be expected. One example would be to move the autographs tables and lines away from the vendors, as some of them lost access due to very long lines. This is why I would recommend trying for the VIP tickets – if you can afford it – as you will go through autographs, photo-ops, and panel lines much faster. Early entrance to the hall is great to snag a few exclusives. If ClexaCon’s attendance continues to grow like it did this year, they will need to move it to an even bigger hall to be able to accommodate so many people
Ticket sales start this weekend on July 1st at 4PM EST for the next Las Vegas edition, and tickets are already on sale for the pop-up convention in London this November.
Froggy holds a Master of Science degree in Marketing and Management from Dauphine University in Paris. She currently resides in Northern Germany where she works in the Space Industry. On top of covering conventions across Europe for The Geekiary, she’s a sports photographer for Our Game Magazine.
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